Monday, April 5, 2010

New York's Paterson Announces Round 2 Federal Broadband Stimulus Grants Submitted

(Editor's Note:  As we reported on 04/03/2010, here, NTIA is stating that its public facing database has not been fully updated with all Round II applications submitted to the agency's BTOP program.  We run Governor Paterson's release, below, for the information of our readers, although we are guided by NTIA's statements to us that the public listing of Round II applicants is not complete to date.)

New York State Office of Technology via 04/05/2010 Albany, NY -  Governor David A. Paterson announced today that the State, local governments, universities, businesses, and not-for profits submitted 49 federal broadband stimulus grant requests totaling approximately $600 million under the NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP). Grants will ensure broadband service is universally available in unserved and underserved, urban and rural communities to bridge the digital divide, increase digital literacy, and spur economic development.
New York Governor David A. Paterson
 (AP Photo/David Karp)
"We cannot afford to leave any part of New York State without modern, high-speed connection to the Internet. Broadband connectivity is essential for economic growth and jobs, public safety communication, education, and access to health and social services," said Governor Paterson. "With federal stimulus dollars available for broadband expansion and adoption throughout our State, families, communities, and our economy can grow and thrive."
New York State Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office for Technology, Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart said, "Leading states are implementing strategies to establish digital literacy standards and ensure universal broadband Internet services are accessible and affordable for citizens and businesses. Receiving federal stimulus funding is critically important to help New York achieve its goal of creating more 'e-citizens' who are digitally literate and connected to affordable high-speed Internet services so they can be full participants in the State's New Innovation and Digital Economy."
Round 2 grant applications were submitted for broadband funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) allocated a total of $7.2 billion to expand access to, and adoption of, broadband services nationwide.
Of that funding, NTIA will distribute $4.7 billion for grants to deploy broadband infrastructure, expand public computer center capacity, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. RUS will use $2.5 billion in budget authority to support grants and loans to facilitate broadband deployment in primarily rural communities. The monies are distributed in two rounds of grant awards.
During Round 1, four organizations in New York State were awarded approximately $75 million in federal broadband stimulus dollars. Combined with private and state matching grants, the total broadband investment of these four projects totals $107 million.
A partnership between ION, a for-profit company based in Albany, and the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC), a public benefit corporation, received $39.7 million in federal funds to develop a regional broadband network to connect more than 100 community institutions, including libraries, state and community colleges, and health clinics. The ION/DANC project will enable last-mile connections to 250,000 households and 38,000 businesses.
Slic Network Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nicholville Telephone, received $5.4 million in federal funds to build a fiber optic network in rural Franklin County.
The New York State Education Department received a $9.5 million grant to expand public computer center services to 41 upstate counties.
Lastly, the NYC Connected Learning project received $22 million to provide computer training, desktop computers, educational software, and free broadband access for one year to more than 18,000 low-income sixth graders and their families in 100 high-need public middle schools in New York City.
In addition to the four projects, New York State's Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination received a $2 million broadband mapping grant for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period for New York, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.5 million.
As a way to spur innovation and support organizations seeking federal stimulus grant dollars, Governor Paterson announced the Innovation Grants Program. The Innovation Grants Program provides a 10 percent match for federal stimulus dollars awarded to federal broadband grant recipients. Funds from this program are only awarded to successful applicants. The Innovation  Grants Program is administered by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).  -Press Release from New York State office of Technology
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